Thursday, August 27, 2009

Explain to me how this does not constitute lobbying of Metro Council by McNeely, Pigott, & Fox

According to Channel 4 News, MDHA released e-mails from powerful PR firm that seem to sustain claims that the firm lobbied rather than advised Metro Council on behalf of the plan to build a new convention center:
The e-mails show it was clearly the PR firm's intent to get the project approved by council, even though some elected officials opposed it.

On June 27, 2008, partner David Fox wrote, "We all worked very hard for a long time to see the Music City Center become a reality." He invited MDHA's Phil Ryan and others to a meeting to "help continue the forward momentum."

Fox mentioned "the celebration" when MHDA was chosen to oversee the project -- a decision some in council now regret, blaming MDHA failure to cap the PR firm's spending.

The e-mails show the partners at the PR firm, who were billing MDHA $285 an hour, wrote speeches and presentations for Ryan -- in March 2009, for example, writing a sheet of questions and answers about the project for Ryan to send to council members.
Advisers don't invite, celebrate, or write talking points sheets for 3rd parties.

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